Even unaware of, everyone’s expecting experience
starts long before coming to this world
over several weeks in a row.
A quite similar experience is faced by
the promising young sportsman
who expects to be drafted by
a leading club and fulfilling his dreams
to unleash all his potential and become successful
in his sports career.
Likewise, the professional football player
also expects one day to be called by the coach
to defend his national team and
play the World Football Cup.
After several years of hard work,
and oftentimes badly slept nights,
students expect to be
approved in their final exams and
be granted their degree.
The experienced professional, on his turn,
expects anxiously for an opportunity
to be called for a job interview
that might come soon
or unfortunately, not.
Although artists master the skill
to make us believe in the emotions
that they convey through the fictional characters,
they cannot help expecting to be awarded by their work.
All in all, expecting is highly laborious.
It not only takes time, but it is, in fact, paradoxically
time passing through one’s fingers but
completely out of your control.
Expecting raises the hopes that the outcome
might be happily fulfilled,
just like the long-awaited son.
However, it can also be quite frustrating.
Like a failed final year exam,
not being drafted by the desired team
or remembered by the national coach
to play the World Cup.
Or maybe, not being seriously considered for
the job that you were confident to be fully qualified for.
Nonetheless, the intriguing thing with expecting
is that no matter how time and energy-consuming it can be,
once the awaiting moment is over,
it also vanishes all the anxieties, uncertainties and hopelessly
that might have crossed your mind and heart.
Thus, although expecting for something important is far from easy,
developing the confidence and peace of mind
that one day the wait will be over is crucial,
even though it might be inevitable to wish that
the wait does not take that long.
When you have the chance to say something,
think that today soon will turn into past,
whilst tomorrow may come so fast
that you may hardly notice it as well.
Do not ever forget
that the wheel keeps on turning this way.
When you have the chance to say something,
do not let the moment
slip through your fingers sand-like.
I love you,
I miss you,
You are important to me,
You are pretty,
You are my hero,
You name it.
More importantly though.
When you have the chance to say something,
do not let the wheel turning
before you express that.
Because yesterday may become too late,
the chance may not
Just say it!
Different studies reveal that human trafficking is currently amongst the world’s most lucrative illegal activities, probably only behind weapons smuggling and drugs trafficking. To start with, these leading illegal ‘business’ activities contribute to revealing the shocking reality that several societies across the globe are more concerned in destruction rather than in building better living conditions for their citizens and in mutual understanding amongst nations. Weapons and illegal drugs destroy lives, destroy families, destroy communities and strip out people’s hope (sometimes with the convenient excuse of granting protection to individuals). Illicit drugs are not that different in regards to their pernicious outcomes. Some of them may cause as immediate harm as a gunshot, whilst others may slowly deteriorate people’s lives in the long run, whilst also undermining families’ ties and communities’ progress along the way.
Unfortunately, it is possible to observe that many governments and several large corporations are more inclined, for instance, towards investing huge sums of money on weaponry and building lethal arsenals than on financing research to tackling several diseases and plagues, on supporting primary and secondary education, or reducing poverty, malnutrition and famine across the world. Again, the logic is that it seems much easier, and maybe more profitable, spreading destruction than building fairer societies.
On what concerns human trafficking, I find particularly devastating. According to a 2013 UNICEF report, 5.5 million children were trafficked around the world, while Freedom United estimates that 40.3 million in total are currently in slavery. This phenomenon is devastating not because, eventually, its effects would be more or less damaging than weapons or illicit drugs. This activity is impressively devastating firstly because it is based on the same medieval and colonial-like practice of forcefully selling human beings as if they were mere disposable merchandises. Secondly, this pernicious activity plays with people’s genuine dreams, children’s legitimate innocence and individuals’ hopes or expectations of a better future. These elements feed the enticers’ greed and trigger their skilful deceiving discourse that, ultimately, will lead the ‘preys’ towards their endless Calvary (i.e.: prostitution, forced unpaid or underpaid labour, pornography, paedophilia, sex tourism, all sorts of abuses, and forced marriage).
Within that, a huge number of young children are sometimes sold by their own family members by a handful of bank notes of any currency (either out of complete honest naivety easily deceived by skilful enticers, or as an illusory desperate measure to escaping extreme poverty or famine). Teenage girls, on the freshness of their youth, and with so much amazing possibilities ahead of them, are deceived by false promises of successful careers, fame, generous payments, international travels and so forth. As with adult women, even though it would be expected that they would be better prepared to dodge out of such mousetraps, they are also caught in the same evil net. Consequently, these three social groups encompass the most vulnerable individuals targeted by traffickers worldwide. By the way, do not be fooled into thinking that the vulnerable groups are restricted to less developed countries. It is certain that the intersection of gender, age, belonging to lower social class positions, lack of schooling, and place of origin, comprise an appealing picture for the enticers recite their deceiving discourse and hook them. However, these vulnerable social groups are also found in wealthy countries as well.
In fact, the enticers are just one of the nodes of this nasty web. The others are pimps (both male and female adult individuals running brothels), dishonest business people profiting from forced slave work, high profile traffickers financing this activity and obviously profiting tremendously from it, and the individuals who demand this sort of ‘service’, to name just a few nodes. Combined, they steal women’s innocence (regardless of their age), compromise their future life prospects by enslaving them and completely disregarding their dignity. The ones who are fortunate enough to escape or be rescued from this Calvary by the authorities may eventually carry deep wounds in their soul (when not also on their flesh) for life, that may be difficult and painful to heal. What about the ones who are not so fortunate? May the Lord be with them! That is what I can say and wish.
I understand that rather than fostering (and naturalising) destruction, mass killings and different types of addictions, we need to take edifying measures to tackling modern-day slavery and human trafficking. Substantial, serious and committed investment in quality public education is an important measure towards preparing better, respectful and responsible adult citizens that will understand that engaging in such degrading activities and enticing others to follow this destructive path is not normal, acceptable or justifiable by any means whatsoever. In addition, formal education also contributes towards providing individuals with better tools to succeed in life and achieving upward social mobility, reducing poverty and, consequently, avoiding the selling of young children. It is not acceptable that in the 21st century we still have to witness medieval or colonial-like social practices and pretend that they are not happening or, even worse, that they are somewhat natural.
Finally, I am aware that for many people who may have the opportunity to read this plea, it may eventually, sound quite poetic, unrealistic, or that it is a battle that cannot be won because that is the way things are. Nevertheless, on the other hand, I am confident that, thankfully, several others will fully comprehend what I am talking about and the seriousness of the issue. We, as civil society and human beings, have a moral duty and responsibility to protect vulnerable individuals (especially children), rather than witnessing impassively them being mercifully exploited by others, like if they were disposable and worthless merchandises devoid of humanity. As the famous quote says, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Therefore, if you are also unhappy with this ugly picture, I kindly invite you to join the ranks of those who wish to wipe this human trafficking sore out from our societies. Certainly, that is not the sort of legacy we need to leave for future generations and neither do they deserve such medieval or colonial-like inhuman practice.
Only they know what it means
to wear a flower attached to their hair
regardless of their age.
Only they know what it’s like
to purchase a new pair of shoes or bags
to be added to an already existing large collection.
Only they know how to distinguish the particular cry
of their loved ones amidst several others.
Only they know how precious it can be
having their distinguished beauty
acknowledged by their partner.
Only they know how large a heart can get
to accommodate more people into their lives.
Only they know the inexplicable wonders
of bringing another human being to life.
Only they know how to be strong and steady
whilst everybody else believes that they are fragile and vulnerable.
Only they know how to ‘read’ other people’s mind
even when no word is said.
Therefore, for all this, and much much more,
only being a woman to fully comprehend
the uniqueness of being…
Oftentimes what bring tears down
may be some painful event
beyond our control,
and in such occasions, walls
may be their only faithful witness.
Whilst in several other times
what brings them down
can be resulting from
mesmerizing joyful moments.
In other occasions though,
what can bring them down
may be the echo of an aching heart
that finds no other way to speak up.
What can also bring them down
can eventually be uncontrollable
feelings of momentary loss
that, within the boundaries
of our limited knowledge,
What can bring them down
can be associated with the
uncertainties of an unpredictable future
no matter how hard we try to overcome it.
However, besides all these reasons,
I still prefer to considering
that what brings my tears down Is nothing,
but the visible element of the great love
that I feel for you.
Independent writer with a passion for traveling, photography and connecting them to literature.